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Reported: November 2012

Venetian Waterway Park Trail... Venice, FL

Bike Trail on Both Sides of Waterway

Venetian Waterway Park, Venice, FL is a linear park featuring an 8' wide, multi-use trail running on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway. From the start at the Venice Avenue bridge (short connector to the Legacy Trail), the Waterway trail runs on the east side (mainland) for 4 miles to Shamrock Park and Nature Center, and on the west side (island) for 5 miles to Caspersen Beach. There are no road crossings on the trail. To cross sides, use the Circus Bridge or the Venice Avenue bridge. (Map link and photos below.)

Venice Legacy Trail

Map link... Venetian Waterway Park

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Location: Sarasota County
End Points: East/Mainland - Shamrock Park to Venice Train Depot. West/Island - Caspersen Beach to North Bridge
Mileage: 10 miles, Connects to the Legacy Trail
Surface: Concrete, 8 feet
Trailheads/Parking: East/Mainland: Shamrock Park, Skip Stasko Park, Legacy Park, West/Island: Caspersen Beach, Airport Road, VABI Trailhead
Nearby points of interest: Historic Venice Train Depot, former Ringling Winter Headquarters, Oscar Scherer State Park, Circus Museums at Ringling Museum (Sarasota)

Bike Shops/Rentals:

Bicycles International (Venice; rentals, sales, service)

Real Bikes (Venice; rentals, sales, service)

Venice Bikes and Trikes (Venice; rentals)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of the Legacy Trail

Friends of Oscar Scherer Park

Venice Area Beautification (VABI)

Venice Circus Arts Foundation
Saving the memory of the Venice Circus Arena

Biking at Venetian Waterway Park... Comments and Photos

The main feature of the Park is the Venetian Waterway Trail, an 8' wide multi-use trail used by bikers, runners, walkers, and skaters. Always a water view. No road crossings. The downside is no shade. The trail goes past Venice Municipal Airport and Venice High School. North of the Circus Bridge is more commercial with access to restaurants, museums, shops. Caspersen Beach to Circus Bridge is the most popular trail section. Here at times, bikers are reminded the trail is only 8' wide, so courtesy counts, and of course pedestrians have the right of way at all times.

Waterway East Side - from Shamrock Park to Historic Venice Train Depot

Shamrock Park and Nature Center has parking, water, restrooms, playground, picnic pavilions, playing fields, walking and biking trails, butterfly garden, and environmental programs. The trail along the waterway runs about four miles to the train depot, with several small parks and parking areas along the way. Connects to the Legacy Trail at the train depot.

Waterway West Side - from Caspersen Beach to Circus Bridge

This is the most popular trail section. Riding from Caspersen Beach Park, the Venice Waterway Trail follows the water, passing the Venice Airport to the Circus Bridge. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway, Caspersen Beach is popular for shelling and finding prehistoric shark teeth. This is one of the most pristine beaches in Florida, 2/3 being left in its natural state. The Beach Park has parking, a boardwalk, dune walkovers, picnicking, playground, nature trails, canoe/kayak launch, and fishing - a worthwhile place to explore.

Caspersen Beach

Caspersen Beach to Circus Bridge

Circus Bridge to West Trailhead

Ramps and access roads at each end lead from the trail to the bridge, linking the two sides of the Waterway Park. A nice wide, elevated sidewalk on both sides. Downtown Venice and Venice Beach lie to the west along this section. In a couple of places, the Waterway Park trail leaves the waterway to go around private properties. The trail ends at the Venice Area Beautification (VABI) headquarters - a civic organization sponsoring the trail.

Circus Bridge

Circus Bridge to West Trailhead

More Information and Resources

Nearby Biking:

Legacy Trail - FL Top 10
Cape Haze Pioneer Trail
Boca Grande Rail Trail
West FL Region - More trails plus Regional Overview map

Related Resources:

Sarasota County Government - Venetian Waterway Park

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